1 SEIZING OUR DESTINY The Agenda for Riverside s Innovative Future
2 It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves. William Shakespeare
3 Quality of Life Using modern economic development in this Agenda, we believe that by increasing the community s quality of life we will fuel intelligent growth, encourage innovation, position Riverside as the location of choice for diverse and dynamic people, and attract desirable businesses and jobs to the region. This is the way we will seize our destiny.
4 Table of Contents Reading this Report page 1 Seizing Our Destiny page 2 Developing the Vision page 3 A Vision for Riverside page 4 The Agenda At-A-Glance Chart page 5 Why Riverside, Why Now? page 6 A City Ahead of Its Time page 6 A City Ahead of the Curve page 9 The Riverside Advantage page 10 Our Destination page 12 Strategic Routes Criteria page 15 Strategic Routes At-A-Glance page 16 Strategic Route 1 Strong Economy That Builds Community page 18 Strategic Route 2 Well-Developed, Highly Sought-After Employment page 20 Strategic Route 3 Lifelong Learning for All page 22 Strategic Route 4 Home of Next-Century Healthcare page 24 Strategic Route 5 Becoming a Green Machine page 25 Strategic Route 6 Around the City, Around the Year, Around the Clock page 26 Strategic Route 7 Transforming Spaces into Places page 28 Strategic Route 8 Big City Recreation with a Hometown Feel page 30 Strategic Route 9 Creativity Central page 32 Strategic Route 10 Collaborating to Build Community page 34 Strategic Route 11 Telling Our Story page 36 Next Steps page 39 Steps to Our Destiny page 40 Call to Action by Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge page 43 Steering Committee Membership page 44 Strategic Visioning & Development of the Agenda page 45 The City s Aspirations page 46
5 Seizing Our Destiny 1... All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination. Earl Nightingale Reading this Report Seizing Our Destiny showcases the community s vision for the future of Riverside and highlights our next steps toward this goal. By utilizing a traveling metaphor throughout this report, we intend to inspire a call to action and a driving forward of the process. The report includes four main sections that emphasize the Agenda: The Map Describes the landscape of where we are now and what s in place that ensures future success; The Destination Envisions the characteristics of our community in 10, 15, and even 20 years; The Strategic Routes Shows possible paths to travel to our destination; Next Steps Explains how our community will move forward to achieve our common goals. By involving the entire community we can seize our destiny and together we will create the future of our dreams. The report ends with the next steps in this process because this is only the beginning. Seizing Our Destiny is the launching pad and call to action to make Riverside the place you and your children want to live, learn, work, create, worship, invest, play and retire.
6 City of Arts & Innovation seizing our destiny 10 Focus Groups that involved 75 people, giving 100 hours A half-day Vision Lab attended by 26 people, giving 130 hours An Online Community survey responded to by 335 people More than 12 public forums to share the Agenda Outreach to and input from widely diverse representatives from the community The Steering Committee devoted more than 315 hours of expertise From its beginning in 1870, Riverside has always been a prosperous, desirable place to live because of the foresight and innovation of its founders, and the dedication and commitment of residents to ensure a high quality of life. Decisions made throughout the early decades of Riverside s history by elected officials, private business-people and community-based leaders have led to the advantages we enjoy today. As we look ahead 10, 15, even 20 years, we realize that now is the time to make the choices that will determine our collective future. We are inspired by the challenge this Agenda presents to become a City known for its outstanding quality of life, the ability to catalyze innovation, to be the location of choice for dynamic and diverse people and for unifying action for the common good. But how do we make the right choices for this community we love? How do we choose wisely to maintain and even expand upon Riverside s historic high quality of life? How do we ensure that Riverside s rich rewards benefit all who live, work and study here, especially as California and our region integrate significant demographic and economic changes? As civic leaders both government (public) and business, faith, community, neighborhood-based (private) we believe the first step in making the right choices is to establish this shared community vision for Riverside s future. With the development of this bold and extraordinary Agenda, our community is now set to embrace a comprehensive roadmap to guide the City into a prosperous future, choosing investments in the near term that will pay off when our children have children. Only with audacity will Riverside make the leap to the next level of greatness.
7 Seizing Our Destiny 3... Starting from a Place of Pride & Investment People who know Riverside recognize what an outstanding city it is and understand that its infrastructure, historic core and neighborhoods reflect its greatness. Residents, business owners, students and social organizations have readily expressed pride in their City, and civic and social leaders have dedicated significant resources to improvements that benefit all Riversiders. The massive growth of the Southern California region has presented both benefits and challenges for our community. In large part, Riverside s proximity to the international city of Los Angeles and the vibrant Orange County region has been positive, bringing employment opportunities to Riversiders and introducing a diverse set of people and businesses to the advantages our city offers. Now we have decided to come to the regional land-use and policymaking table as an equal partner and advocate that the region s policies, priorities and projects reflect the goals, ambitions and needs of Riverside and our community. The City of Riverside has already forged ahead with many affirmative and optimistic initiatives, supported and guided by the private sector. These include the Renaissance infrastructure building program, Green Riverside s environmental sustainability programs, digital inclusion and access programs of SmartRiverside, restoration of the historic Fox Theater and construction or renovation of many parks and recreational facilities. These initiatives have established a firm foundation for the City s future, but it is now time to articulate a comprehensive vision for the City. There is a need to integrate past and future initiatives into a cohesive whole to make the sum greater than its parts and to identify additional initiatives that will advance Riverside s future.
8 City of Arts & Innovation A Vision for Riverside On May 26, 2009, the Riverside City Council approved the following goals as a bold and far-reaching start to a strategic visioning process that will guide Riverside to a leading position in the region, country and world. Riverside aspires to be a City of: Dynamism by being a hub of global economy Future that celebrates its history and its forward growth International reach with a great diversity of people Inspiration by creating a culture and community of the arts Ideas advanced through a world-class education Innovation through the development of new technologies Health by promoting well-being here and across the globe Earth by creating a clean and sustainable environment Freedom enjoyed with peace and safety Community with a vibrant urban city center, neighborhoods, faith communities and outdoor life
9 Seizing Our Destiny 5... Seizing Our Destiny: The Agenda for Riverside s Innovative Future Our Map Where We Are What makes our bold, innovative future possible? A City Ahead of its Time A City Ahead of the Curve Our Destination Where We Are Going What will people believe about Riverside? Oustanding Quality of Life Catalyst for Innovation Location of Choice Unified City for Common Good Our Strategic Routes How We Will Get There How will we achieve what we envision? Strong Innovative Economy that Builds Community Well-Developed, Highly Sought-After Workforce Lifelong Learning for All Home of Next-Century Health Care Becoming a Green Machine Around the City, Around the Year, Around the Clock Transforming Spaces into Places Big City Recreation with Hometown Feel Creativity Central Collaborating to Build Community Telling Our Story
10 City of Arts & Innovation Our Map: Why Riverside, Why Now? Many cities, including Riverside, aspire to be a city of the future, of innovation, of international reach, etc. These are noble goals that few could disagree with. They are also extremely difficult to achieve. Why do the political, social and civic leaders of Riverside believe the City is positioned to make them true, and why now? It s simple: Riverside is a City ahead of its time and ahead of the curve. This section describes the landscape that makes the Agenda not only possible, but probable. A City Ahead of its Time From its beginning, Riverside has been a City of forward-thinking, creative and ingenious pioneers and innovators. In 1870 when John North looked at the rich land bordering the Santa Ana River, he was able to envision rolling hills of agriculture and a city destined to be the center of Inland Southern California. To make his dream a reality, North and other founders built in 1871 a canal that still brings a dedicated source of water, making Riverside one of the only cities in California approaching water independence. Early in the City s history, resident Eliza Tibbetts experimented by importing, planting and nurturing three Brazilian orange trees without knowing they would be the basis for an agricultural empire. They created the necessary ingredients that led to California s other Gold Rush the citrus industry s wildly successful rise from By 1882 Riverside was home to more than half of the state s 500,000 citrus trees. Advances such as refrigerated railroad cars and innovative irrigation systems made Riverside the wealthiest city per capita nationally by Another dreamer with big plans, Frank Miller, expanded a small hotel into the Mission Inn, which is still the largest Mission Revival Style building in the U.S. Along with the City s prosperity, climatic and geographic advantages, the treasured Mission Inn has been a prime attraction for the rich and famous, including celebrities and several U.S. Presidents. The City s early leaders created an enduring legacy of architecture and public spaces. They invited Frederick Law Olmstead, famous for New York s Central Park, to Riverside to build Fairmount Park, which is still a favorite spot for Riversiders to fish, picnic or hear live musical performances. The YWCA brought Julia Morgan, Hearst Castle s architect, to Riverside to build what is now the Riverside Art Museum.
11 Seizing Our Destiny Other ways in which Riverside has been ahead of its time include our 85-year-old community theater and 100-year-old, non-denominational Easter Sunrise Service on Mt. Rubidoux both are said to have been the first in the nation. The region has been a hub of waves of private sector innovation through the years. HotPoint Appliances began here in the 1890s. Hunter Douglas Blinds began here and brought its revolutionary, energy-saving window blinds to market in the mid-80s. Riverside is also home to the first unified Auto Center in the United States (c. 1965), innovating the practice of placing auto dealerships near one another for added convenience and expanded selection for the consumer. As a leader of private sector business interests, the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce has always played an important role in attracting and retaining entrepreneurs, companies and innovative forces in Riverside. In 1901 the Chamber took on two important projects: helping bring a new railroad line through Riverside and writing a city charter, which the City of Riverside Board of Trustees adopted in In 1917 as the United States prepared to enter World War I, Riverside s business leaders and the Chamber developed a prospectus that convinced the federal government to build one of the nation s first military airfields southeast of the city; it is now called March Air Reserve Base. The base has been a major part of Riverside s economic success since its beginning and continues to hold promise for our future. In 1947 the Chamber encouraged Marlan and Rosemary Bourns to establish their company in Riverside, a move that led to the multi-billion dollar, international engineering corporation Bourns, Inc. The Bourns gave back to the city that helped them succeed by endowing the Bourns College of Engineering at UC Riverside. Over time, other companies such as Rohr Aircraft (Goodrich), Hunter Engineering, Toro, Butcher Boy (Windsor Foods), Flexsteel and Amtrak would also call Riverside home.
12 City of Arts & Innovation More recently, large companies such as Pepsi and Nordstrom have come to Riverside in part because of the collaborative efforts of the City and Chamber. Business leaders were also instrumental in Riverside becoming the legal seat for the County of Riverside, and the region. Both La Sierra University and the California School for the Deaf were attracted to Riverside because of the commitment by business leaders and philanthropists to support the schools and their students. With the founding of the University of California Citrus Experiment Station in 1907, Riverside was destined to become the home of a major land-grant research university. Some of the cutting-edge horticultural research and discoveries emanating from the campus include pioneering research in biological pest control (integrated pest management) and the use of growth regulators responsible for extending the citrus growing season in California from four to nine months. Now known as UC Riverside, the campus is home to some of the world s most important research collections on subjects as varied as citrus diversity, entomology, science fiction and photography. UC Riverside has become a leading university in the nation. It ranks 16th in Washington Monthly s 2009 national university rankings, based on contribution to the public good, and 5th in ethnic diversity according to U.S. News & World Report. In addition to its nationally ranked public university, the City has the distinction of being home to two well-respected private universities and Riverside Community College (RCC). California Baptist University is ranked 38th by U.S. News among master s universities; La Sierra University is ranked 1st in racial diversity among master s universities in the West; and RCC has recently been chosen as one of only seven colleges nationwide to join the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation s efforts to double the number of lowincome young adults who enter and complete a post-secondary education. This impressive heritage of pioneers and innovators has been embedded in Riverside from its inception, and provides a solid launching pad for the future.
13 Seizing Our Destiny 9... A City Ahead of the Curve People who know and appreciate Riverside think the greatness of their City is not yet known. Riversiders believe it is, unfortunately, the best kept secret in Southern California. The hometown feel with big city amenities, attractive and historic downtown, diverse neighborhoods and year-round climate that promotes outdoor living all add up to a place residents are proud to call home. We have much to be proud of: the preservation of Riverside s historic downtown architecture; the independence of the public utility system; the commitment that the City will receive 50% of its power from renewable resources by 2013; the SmartRiverside program that provides computers to low-income residents and free wi-fi to most of the City; and recent investments in infrastructure, such as Renaissance Riverside (a multi-billion dollar program improving roads, parks and cultural attractions). Much like the City s founders, Riverside s civic and social leaders have made strategic investments that today are paying off and increasing the quality of life for all who live here. This Agenda will guide similar choices for our future. People are noticing and we are celebrating: Riverside has been named the first Emerald City in California, one of the 21 most intelligent tech cities in the world (the Smart21 Communities Awards) and among 13 of the U.S. s Most Livable Communities. More importantly, residents and business owners in Riverside are excited by what s happening in the City and what our collective future holds. As the country comes out of a deep recession, Riverside is exceptionally well-positioned and is an attractive place for businesses and families to relocate. Careful fiscal discipline has ensured the City is in the black with reserves even as the recession s toll mounted. These distinctions in combination with reliable water, low-cost utilities powered by clean energy, the education systems to prepare a diverse workforce and an extraordinary collection of three universities and a community college give Riverside powerful tools to advance into the future. With this head-start, Riverside is sure to stay ahead of the curve.
14 City of Arts & Innovation The Riverside Advantage Riverside s Awards & Honors America s Best 100 Communities for Young People (America s Promise Alliance, 2008) Riverside received the Playful City USA Award (for American cities that have made innovative play for children a priority for the community, 2009). Riverside was designated as the first ever Emerald City by the State of California Department of Conservation (for its sustainable green initiatives and renewable energy, 2009). Riverside was named as one of the nation s top 13 Most Livable Communities (by the nonprofit Partners for Livable Communities, 2009). Riverside was chosen as one of 21 cities worldwide to receive the Smart21 Communities award (for technology infrastructure, Intelligent Community Forum, 2009). Riverside was recognized 5th in the Digital Cities Survey Top Ten (in 250,000 or more population category, Digital Cities Survey, 2009). Riverside was chosen by the Smithsonian to have a formal affiliation with the City and the Riverside Metropolitan Museum the only municipality in the nation to be so honored. City by city, Riverside can be seen as the best. Focus Group Participant
15 Seizing Our Destiny Size 12th largest city in California Miles covered: 85 Residents: 300,096 Climate Average temperature: 79 degrees Sunny days per year: 277 Livable Community Distinctive neighborhoods: 26 Diverse housing: from downtown live-work lofts to multi-acre horse and agricultural properties Parks: 54 Hiking or walking trails: 17 miles Education K-12 students: 60,000 College students: 53,000 Educational institutions: 2 public school districts, 1 charter school, 30 private K-12 schools, 1 California School for the Deaf, 1 Sherman Indian High School, 1 community college system, 1 land-grant public research university, 2 private universities Arts, Culture & Entertainment Museums: 8 Performing arts venues: 12 Art galleries: 11 Festivals and community gatherings: 20, including Festival of Lights, Mariachi Festival, International Film Festival, Easter Sunrise Service, Ghostwalk Riverside and the Mayor s Ball for the Arts Business Environment Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce: 1,478 members, the third largest in Southern California; other active Chambers include: Greater Riverside Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Inland Empire African American Chamber of Commerce and the Asian Indian Chamber of Commerce Largest private employers in City: Goodrich Aerospace (500 employees); K&N Engineering (438); Pepsi Cola Bottling Co. (400); E.R. Carpenter Company (375); Luxfer Gas (350); and Wild Rocket Foods (350) Largest public employers in City: UC Riverside (6,470 employees); the Riverside Unified School district (4,000); and the City of Riverside (2,569) Relationship with City: Economic Development programs include streamlined permitting process, such as fast-tracking for significant commercial projects, business liason services and possible utility rate incentive Cost of citywide wi-fi access: Free
16 City of Arts & Innovation Our Destination Now that the landscape of Riverside has been surveyed and its readiness to face the future has been established, this section describes our ultimate goal the desired destination of the Agenda. Destination at-a-glance Outstanding Quality of Life Catalyst for Innovation Location of Choice Unified City for Common Good
17 Seizing Our Destiny In the future people will believe the following about Riverside... >> Riverside promotes an outstanding quality of life for all through intelligent growth. Riverside embraces economic growth and directs it so it maintains and improves the already outstanding quality of life. Intelligent growth that matters includes growing the economy, raising the standard of living and managing a growing population. Expansive and open, Riverside uses land and repurposes historic structures in ways that contribute to the community through providing excellent jobs, support to businesses and stewardship of the City s heritage and natural beauty. The City leverages its many regional competitive advantages, including the amount of space available for adaptive re-use, consistently lower cost municipally-owned utilities, and lower land, building and development costs. Riverside maximizes its position as the gateway to the United States and the world through trade and transportation networks.
18 City of Arts & Innovation >> Riverside catalyzes profound discoveries and creativity in the arts, technology, research and business innovation. Riverside s community leaders collaborate to address issues, which leads to more multi-disciplinary, innovative approaches that transcend traditional boundaries. The people and educational institutions of Riverside cultivate and support useful and beneficial ideas, research, products, scholars, businesspeople, artists, etc. Creativity and innovation permeate all that Riverside does, which makes the City a trendsetter for the region, California, and the world to follow. >> Riverside is a location of choice and attracts creative, entrepreneurial, dynamic and diverse people as residents, workers, business owners and visitors. An unmatched landscape, year-round outdoor living, ample recreational opportunities and attention to healthy living make Riverside one of the most inspiring, livable, healthy and adventurous cities to live in or visit. Riverside exists as a choice destination because it provides an abundance of opportunities to be amazed, inspired and entertained, including: arts and cultural offerings; welldefined, welcoming neighborhoods; well-paying jobs in strong companies; diverse educational opportunities; and much more. Riverside has everything Riversiders need, and its central location means that they are within an hour-long drive to the beach, snow, Los Angeles and Orange County shopping and cultural offerings, apple picking, horseback riding, Palm Springs, backpacking, mountain biking, etc. >> Riverside unifies its diverse community to accelerate the common good for the City as a whole. People are brought together around common interests and concerns, while the unique character of Riverside s neighborhoods and diverse communities are celebrated and valued. Riverside is a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and that supports people s connection to one another, and the City as a whole. The long-standing diversity of the City provides a comfortable home for people from all backgrounds, cultures and interests Riverside is a city for everyone and by everyone. Riverside respects and values the cultural heritage, distinct needs and varied input of each of its diverse citizens, while proactively engaging those citizens across historical dividing lines.
19 Seizing Our Destiny our Strategic ROutes To arrive at our destination, Riverside will pursue 11 Strategic Routes. We have identified several Exemplary Initiatives for each of the Routes that we believe will propel the Agenda forward. The chosen Initiatives reflect the most prevalent and promising ideas suggested through community input. While some of the Initiatives are already in progress, the goal of including them is to garner additional support for full and swift completion. The Strategic Routes and Initiatives are summarized here; full descriptions of each begin on page 18. Each Strategic idea included in the Agenda met the following criteria: Capitalize on existing assets that combine to create something uniquely Riverside Result in impact with a potentially significant magnitude or scope Integrate economic and community development Serve as a potential model for other cities Foster collaboration across diverse entities with complementary strengths Allow Riverside to distinguish itself from other cities vying for similar reputation, investment or resources Support and enhance other strategic routes creates focus toward achieving the Agenda Build a marketable brand that supports The City of Arts and Innovation
20 City of Arts & Innovation Strategic Routes at a Glance Riverside gives you the opportunity to do pretty much anything. Vision Lab Participant 1. Strong Innovative Economy that Builds Community 1.1 Actively recruit companies within five desirable industries 1.2 Incubate, support and help entrepreneurs 1.3 Create sustainable funding mechanisms and attract investment to support business innovation 1.4 Streamline government procedures, processes and forms 1.5 Create incentives that ensure the highest levels of business success 1.6 Enhance the relationship of public and private stakeholders with March Air Reserve Base 2. Well-Developed, Highly Sought-After Workforce 2.1 Utilize available training resources to prepare all residents for the workforce 2.2 Support and enhance professional programs 2.3 Integrate the many resources in Riverside to ensure that people are trained 2.4 Link residents with training, job placement and retention services 3. Lifelong Learning for All 3.1 Foster learning that both supports career development and enhances personal growth 3.2 Showcase students and faculties work, discoveries, research and productions 3.3 Link and coordinate offerings that support student transitions 3.4 Increase K-12 student achievement 3.5 Leverage SmartRiverside to support residents accessing lifelong educational experiences 4. Home of Next-Century Health Care 4.1 Create a Task Force to develop a plan to effectively leverage the UCR Medical School 4.2 Invest public and private funds in the Medical School 4.3 Integrate other educational and research programs with the Medical School
21 Seizing Our Destiny Becoming a Green Machine 5.1 Fully implement the Green Riverside Action Plan 5.2 Create a Green Business District 5.3 Determine innovative ways to preserve and enhance the Greenbelt 5.4 Implement an action plan for international recruitment of green business 6. Around the City, Around the Year, Around the Clock 6.1 Establish five highly walkable destinations 6.2 Provide exciting, edgy, fun and safe arts and culture opportunities and venues for young people 6.3 Capitalize on the investment already made in the Fox Theater 6.4 Host a major signature event each season 6.5 Modernize and expand the Convention Center 7. Transforming Spaces into Places 7.1 Showcase Riverside to visitors and residents in creative ways 7.2 Creatively re-use the historic core and respectfully add value 7.3 Collaborate with other cities to co-market 8. Big City Recreation with a Hometown Feel 8.1 Create a RiverWalk destination 8.2 Create sculpture garden walks 8.3 Create a master plan for the Greenbelt 8.4 Establish Riverside as the home of, and training ground for, world-class athletes 9. Creativity Centr al 9.1 Create a highly visible artists colony 9.2 Develop performance and exhibition spaces 9.3 Showcase existing architectural statements 9.4 Ensure that all roads to the arts run through and to Riverside 9.5 Establish a Museum of Innovation 10. Collabor ating to Build Community 10.1 Provide opportunities for Riversiders to develop a shared understanding of the common good 10.2 Build on relationships with faith leaders and work together 10.3 Strengthen local philanthropy and develop new philanthropists 10.4 Promote participation of diverse people 10.5 Convene education, civic and business leaders to work together 11. Telling our Story 11.1 Develop a destination marketing and promotional campaign 11.2 Ensure that a positive image is projected, even to people on the freeway 11.3 Utilize local print, online and broadcast media 11.4 Position Riverside leaders as spokespeople for the Inland Southern California region